Saturday, April 30, 2011

Journal Entry 13

Larry Lessig: How creativity is being strangled by the law

Larry Lessig proves a very relevant point after a long build up in his lecture. He starts out by describing the beginnings of user generated content and one man's fear that technology would consume creativity. One fact that I did not know about was that the original law of the "land" protected any piece of land from trespassers from above and below. Lessig then described that this law lacked common sense one airplanes were invented because airplanes would "trespass" over land quite often.

Next, he describes how the development of the broadcasting system gave businesses control over the creative outlets of the masses. It capitalized on creative people who were creating for things for the love and not for the money. Lessig then shows several examples of videos that were created using gathered video material, arguing that this form of creation was being limited by the law. According to common sense, the law system would govern most creative outlets that technology allows because technically mostly everything recreated is "copying". This action of copying, by law, is protected by the copyright laws. Lessig's argument was that this fact greatly limited the technological creativity of the future generations.

He concluded that if society did two things this problem could be solved.

1. Allow artists choose the level at which their work will be available for use (much like the options given on behance).

2. Had business and government accept the artists choice of their work and implement this change into law.

In conclusion, I felt that Lessig made a very valid point that is greatly significant to me as a young designer. The subject of creativity being limited by law was very clear in his speech, and incites deep thought and preparation for action from me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Journal Entry 12

Hillman Curtis Artist Series Films: Are Awesome.

I thoroughly enjoyed the directing and editing work that was done on these films. Aside from that, the information was also very thought-provoking.

Paula Scher was a lively speaker. She first discussed some of her designs such as the Jazz logo. The client wanted the logo to be syncopated and reflect jazz musicians themselves. She made the "a" in the logo boldly different fro the rest of the letters to reflect the boldness of some jazz musicians. She then discussed the New York Public Theater identity and how loud, urban, and visual it was. In it's Noise Funk series, the typography was made to look like it was making noise (which it did). Very refreshing to see such lively type.

She states that she operates very strongly with her instincts, and that her creation process is very intuitive. Her work is done in "bold strokes" without a lot of process. This I found ironic because as a student I am more or less being strayed away from such a working style. I do find that there is a balance between the two patterns. She ended with a discussing how learned how to "illustrate with type" greatly influenced her career early on. Sometimes I feel like illustrating with type is something that clicks with me. I would ask her if I could see some of her drawings or illustrations, those might be interesting.

David Carson's work was very inspiring. The few works that were shown at the beginning of the video were very interesting to me particularly because I enjoyed their darker and eerie nature. He opened by discussing how his lack of training was helpful in allowing him to put more of his personality into his work. He was very self indulgent in his work, which I am very much inspired by. He argues that as design gets more computerized, it is increasingly important for us to put more of our personality into our work (I agree). I can definitely see what he means by this when looking at his work. Another good point he made was that a good starting point in design is to simply interpret what you are designing.

Lawrence Weiner came off as a profoundly wise man when he opened with "How the hell do you know how the universe is supposed to work?" His down to earth philosophy was very refreshing to experience. He seems to understand quite a lot about how society works. He discusses how he tries to set up a pattern to help people figure out where they are and then where they can move from where they are. I deeply appreciate this man's intention to help people with design. Also, I found it humorous that he detests Helvetica because of how authoritative it is. I can see what he means in that regard. I would have a lot of questions to ask Lawrence, like where did he start out in his career?

Speech Project: Video vs. Print

We are making the change from print to motion on our speech, and the audience experience could potentially change dramatically. Motion is modern, it associated with the technological advances of our age. Print has been around for quite awhile, and I think that people approach it slightly less expectation for excitement (compared to motion). With that said, moving into motion will open up some new doors for engaging an audience.

In print, the viewer can gaze at a page, go back a few pages, stop, inspect something, skip pages, and so on. In motion, the creator controls the flow. The viewer's brain either interprets the information the information fast enough or doesn't have time to. Substance might be missed by the viewer if they blink. Sound and music can be added to motion. This could make it slightly less personal, but also more exciting. With all this said, the switch from print to motion graphics expands some horizons but contracts others.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Journal Entry 11

Design Matters
Debbie Millman is partner and president of the design division of Sterling Brands, a leading brand identity firm. She is president of AIGA, and chair of the School of Visual Arts' master's program in Branding. She is a contributing editor to Print magazine and host of the podcast "Design Matters." She wrote How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer, The Essential Principles of Graphic Design, and Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design.

Design Matters: John Maeda

John Maeda (born 1966 in Seattle, Washington) is a computer scientist and graphic designer , university professor, and author. His work in design and technology explores the area where the two fields merge. He is the current President of the Rhode Island School of Design At RISD, Maeda seeks to champion the necessary role that artists and designers play in the 21st century creative economy.

In his interview, he talks about his parents and how he was raised. He first realized that he needed to become and artist when he was a junior at MIT. He would make icons in his classes and receive praise for such things. He then realized that he would be much better off in art school. He found a book written by Paul Rand and become inspired to achieve such great heights in design.

I was interested in his discussion of his approach to design. The way he was hooked onto design is much more technologically based compared to how I was. I was turned onto graphic design from more of an artistic stand-point, so I found this interview very intriguing.

Journal Entry 10

The first video that I watched was 'The State of the Planet'. This video conveyed a somewhat large amount of information at a paced and understandable fashion. It followed the trend of quickly moving text to the center of the screen in a bouncy and synchronized fashion. This style could possibly be an essential building block to creating a comprehensible motion graphic video.

The Hidden Cost of War

-Uses text which stacks on one another at the beginning of the video, utilizing scale and color to add emphasis to certain words. The rest of the video communicated it's information mostly with vector graphics in the form of info graphics.

Waste In Space

An info graphic which combines photography with vector graphics. It uses an asymmetrical structure, combining sans serif typography with clearn and understandable vector images. The result is a substantially effective delivery of information.

Why Is It So Hard to Quite Smoking?

A medical infographic. This graphic has a very simple format, it maintains a clean feel while emphasizing certain elements through color. The minimalist use of color allowed the designer to have much more control over which pieces of information were emphasized.

Journal Entry 9

Jacob Trollback: Designer as Author

Listening to Trollback's lecture, he made many important points.

-The first point he made was that motion emphasizes storytelling in a more natural and inherent way as opposed to print.

-One should design things that make sense to them, and design that works for them. What a design is saying is much more important than what it looks like.

-Practicing self determination to satisfy yourself via design helps you develop and express your ideas with more impact.

-Argues that Bach's Partitas music is much like Helvetica.

-Claims that discussions and advertising don't work very effectively to make an impact. Pleas do not work. Emotional messages can work universally, therefore comedy is a fairly effective means of conveying a message. Emotional work is very individual, which makes it hard for emotional messages to reach a wide audience.

-The human mind uses imagination all the time and for mostly all forms of thinking.

-All we have is creativity, love, and violence.

-Explains that when taking inspiration from other forms of art or design, one should think of what values and emotions they would be transferring form the inspiration.

Journal Entry 6

Thirty Conversations On Design:

The videos I watched were of Agustin Garza, Gong Szeto, Jake McCabe, Khoi Vinh, and Tony Hawk.

Each designer had a very different source of inspiration which they talked about. Gong Szeto showed a very specific example of good map making, and stressed how good relay of critical information will be increasingly important in our future. Garza showed a carved Mexican statue, which was different from most of the others. He, along with McCabe, believe that more of a focus on sustainability should be implemented for the future of design. This does seem to be a very important issue and responsibility amongst designers right now. McCabe mentioned that it is our responsibility as designers to pay attention to important concepts such as sustainability, because it is within our power to make a social change in that respect. Khoi Vinh mentioned that design has an identity crisis, and that we should work on extricating the old reputation of design (strictly marketing and advertising based) and move to a more genuinely beneficial identity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

Who is speaking?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Why was/is the speech important to society?

It is a genuine plea for peace heard by one of the most influential public speakers ever.

Why do you feel it is important or interesting?

The Vietnam war was unjust, and established the U.S. as a terrible force in the eyes of the Vietnamese. Because Dr. MLK Jr. publicly protested this war as well as touching the souls of all who listened to him, this speech is important to mankind.

What is the emotion, mood, tone, personality, feeling of the speech?

Concerned, loving, caring, empathetic, hopeful, sensitive.

What is the intonation, emphasis, what is loud, stressed, or soft. Where are the pauses?

The pauses and emphasis are after he states a particularly serious and important line. He begins to get louder near the end.

What do you FEEL should be loud or soft, long pause or rushed?

"Destroy, Wealthy, and Hell should be loud. To create rhythm, some ends of sentences should be softer and slower.

Is there a call to action? When listening to it what are key/emphasized words?

The call to action is the powerful message behind this anti-war speech which goes deeper than just "No more war". Words that should be emphasized are "Enemy, Brutalized, Destroy, Death, Stop, Now, Child of God, and Hell.

How does it make you feel?

Sorrowful for the lives lost in such a horrible manipulation of human lives. Empowerment to stand for the MLK Jr. was supporting with this speech.

How do you imagine the audience felt?

Revitalized, empowered, inspired, sorrowful, mournful, guilty.

Could there be another interpretation of the speech?

Perhaps it could be interpreted as having more religious or self-righteous intentions , but it is a pretty clear speech.

Write/find a short bio of the person giving the speech.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.
A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Journal Entry 8

Jessica Helfand's article, Type Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry, really opened my eyes to the seriousness of choosing a font based on its relevance to the message it portrays. On some occasion, Futura would seem appropriate to use. On most, based on this article, it might be better to consider an alternative typeface. Eurostile, Gotham, and DIN all have similar characteristics to Futura and might be more effective in most cases. Even DIN Schrift has versatility while still maintaining a sleek and geometric aesthetic. As alluring and sexy Futura is, it does seem to be over used. Based on this article and a little research I believe I will be able to better apply more appropriate fonts instead of it... although it looks nice.

The other article I read was Ten Graphic Design Paradoxes, by Adrian Shaughnessy. There is a lot of useful information packed in this article. The first rule he lists about, "theres no such thing as bad clients" I can see being very true. I have not had extensive influence in this subject. However, from what I have learned in my Graphic Design courses and from my one Illustration course under Barry Fitzgerald, I can partially see the light that this paradox holds. Another rule that I found particularly important is for designers to have their own beliefs and ethics. Only in this way can we produce truly meaningful work.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Journal Entry 5

Jonathan Harris Cold : Bold: Response

Interesting how he stopped using the sketchbooks after he got mugged. I personally would not let something like that stop one of my favorite creative outputs, whatever it may be.

I found his design of the dating system very impressive. The fact that he could program and design the entire system gave him a lot of control. I can see how working on such a project would envelope someone and take over their mind.

Interesting how he decided that he did not have the energy to give to both machines and people. I can see how what he does can create a disconnection from personal life activity. From what he said, I understand that he absorbs a lot from external world. His theory that one cannot successfully make art and write code at the same time seems pretty valid, at least in his case. I disagree with his decision that ideas are unimportant compares to goals. That statement goes with the saying that "this is just a means to an end". I disagree with that because I believe that every part of any process is significant. I won't get too philosophical with that.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spread Information

What are the advantages of a multiple column grid?
It allows for the use of multiple columns, which adds interest and variety to the page.

How many characters is optimal for a line length? words per line?
Between 45 and 65.

Why is the baseline grid used in design?

Baseline grids keep continuity across the page. If all texts sits on a baseline, thenthe space between lines and the margins are equal or at least proportional.

What is a typographic river?

Typographic rivers are gaps appearing to run down a paragraph of text, due to a coincidental alignment of spaces.

From the readings what does clothesline or flow line mean?

Flowline: Horizontal intervals that separate columns of a grid to create alignment throughout the page.

How can you incorporate white space into your designs?

By not filling up the entire page, and by allowing negative space, white space can be incorporated into the design.

What is type color/texture mean?

type color refers to the weight or boldness of a typeface and is used by designers and typographers to describe the visual tone of a mass of text on a page.

What is x-height, how does it effect type color?

X-height refers to the distance between the baseline and the mean line in a typeface. The difference in x-height affects the typographic color of a page. The smaller the x-height, the darker the typographic color.

In justification or H&J terms what do the numbers: minimum, optimum, maximum mean?

The computer must decide how much to adjust the space between the letters and words. These terms mean the minimum, maximum and optimum amount of space used to justify this text without making it look bad.

What are some ways to indicate a new paragraph. Are there any rules?

New paragraphs are usually indicated with an indentation. Other ways are to highlight part of the new paragraph with new color, font, size, etc. If you indent, do not space in between paragraphs.

What are some things to look out for when hyphenating text.

Never hyphenate a word in a headline.

What is a literature?

What does CMYK and RGB mean?

RGB are Additive colors while CMYK are Subtractive colors.
CMYK has 4 inks: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
RGB has 3 inks: Red, Green, Blue.

What does hanging punctuation mean?

In justified text, the punctuation is sometimes allowed to extend into the right-hand margin area to make the margin look neater. This is called hanging punctuation.

What is the difference between a foot mark and an apostrophe?

They are simply different characters that mean different things. Visually, a foot mark is a straight dash while an apostrophe has a curve and a ball serif on it.

What is the difference between an inch mark and a quote mark (smart quote)?

Inch marks are also referred to as straight quotes, and are the default quote marks used from the keyboard. Quote marks (a.k.a typographer's quotes, a.k.a curly quotes) are to be used for quoting outside of official bodies of text.

What is a hyphen, en dash and em dashes, what are the differences and when are they used.

A hyphen is 1/3rd of an em dash. It is used to connect words and to connect two broken parts of a word when reading justified text. An en Dash is half of an em dash. It is used to indicate a range between to preceding and following words, or to substitute the word "to." An em Dash is the size of a capital M and is relative to the type face. Substituted for brackets or parenthesis, indicates a sudden change of thought or thought patterns, or to indicate a rest less strong than a period (stronger than a comma).

What are ligatures, why are they used, when are they not used, what are common ligatures.

A ligature occurs where two or more graphemes are joined as a single glyph Ligatures usually replace consecutive characters sharing common components and are part of a more general class of glyphs called "contextual forms", where the specific shape of a letter depends on context such as surrounding letters or proximity to the end of a line.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Journal Entry 4

Bruce Mau is a leading designer in the current world. His studio has many impressive clients and he has written many successful books. The success of his business and his outlook on design act as very inspirational to those who aspire to be successful designers. His manifesto has sparked creativity in many creative minds.

18. Stay up late. This is the mantra I have chosen because I never really looked at staying up late as a positive thing. However, since I have been doing it a lot lately I felt I should embrace it. I'm going to plan on staying up late and look at it not as depriving me of sleep, but as stimulating my productivity (which is usually does).

Journal Entry No. 3/Summary of Article

Stefan Sagmeister seems to have an outlook on design similar to mine.

In his TED lecture, he starts out by explaining his trips to China. He mentions how he was very dependent and superstitious about the design he saw when he got off the plane. If it was good, he would have a good time, if it was bad he would have a bad time.

He then transitioned into talking about a list he made of moments that took his breath away. Making the connection that some of those moments were influenced or directly related to design, he concluded that design can make people happy. He then described a specific memory that he had when design made him happy involving a bike and a walkman. Being happy while designing is also a subject he touched upon.

In his pontification of design, he also realized that the visualization of happiness is easy. He showed many examples of happy faces and other "happy" things. Design that incites is what was in question. He wondered how much design actually incites happy feelings.

As his closing, he showed a series of designs which a direct from a list of things he has learned in life, adding a very wholesome and meaningful message to his lecture.

Stefan Sagmeister is humorous, insightful, charismatic, and good at design. These are all qualities that would make any design speaker "popular". Additionally, he is supporting and covering topics that our society seems to be increasingly interested in. The direction design is moving seems to have much in common with the topics he covers.


Sagmeister's article, How Good is Good?, starts by stating that, "There is nothing inherent in our profession that forces us to support worthy causes." He contemplates the incentive of humans and designers to do "good" things in the world. There are three reasons he gets up in the morning:

1. Strive for Happiness
2. Don't Hurt Anybody
3. Help others achieve the same

With these guidelines in mind, he is careful to design for things that he believes in or supports in some way. Making a conscious effort to do good things in the world, Sagmeister wanted to move from designing "cool" things to significant things.

In a brief chronology of design starting from the 80s, he states that our recent culture leaves room for questioning what design is for and for whom it is being done for. He quotes Victor Papanek when he says that advertising is the phoniest career in existence (which I somewhat agree with). This statement leads into his discussion of bad design and how it makes the world more difficult to live in.

Moving to the better side of design, he questions whether doing good should allow him to have fun and receive good back. He asks if being good must be selfless as he transitions into talking about celebrities and charities. He concludes that perhaps celebrities fund charities to improve their image, or maybe they just realize that fame, money, and success do not bring the satisfaction they expected and thus look for more out of life.

He concludes that design can do many things, such as makes someone feel better or makes the world a safer place. Overall, the issues covered in his writing are very relevant to my life and outlook on design. I really enjoyed reading his article and watching his TED lecture.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Audience Personas

Donald is a 24 year-old graduate from the University of Kansas. He has a degree in psychology and has many books pertaining to the exploration of the human mind. In his free time he plays the bass guitar, checks craig's list for musical equipment, and reads books. He shops at the Merc and usually only buy organic foods. When he isn't reading about psychology he is reading about philosophy or shamanism, as these subject also interest him.

Steve is a 44 year-old appliance store owner with a wife and two children. In his free time he likes to fish and spend time with his family. He shops healthy, and always thinks about nutrition when shopping at Dillon's. He is a big fan of The Doors and has a picture of the entire band hanging in his room. Because of his adoration of The Doors, he looked into the band's name. Leading him to The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, he gained interest in Huxley's literature.

Bobby is a 23 year-old dancer studying at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is a quiet and shy girl who is actually very well read. She has an impressing book collection and favors those of philosophy and science. Owning those types of books make her feel more intellectual and wise. Although she collects and sometimes reads the books, she very rarely understands them. She tries to power through the most complex of books only to find her ego boosted by information she does not even understand or use.

Journal Entry 2/14

Dieter Rams- 10 Principles for Good Design

1. Good design is innovative- Expresses that the designer should keep in mind what is happening in his or her surroundings to create a truly innovative design.

2. Makes a product useful- Product should function psychologically and aesthetically.

3. Is aesthetically pleasing- Well executed objects can be beautiful.

4. Makes a product understandable- The product at its best should be self explanatory. Should be easy to comprehend and use.

5. Is unobtrusive- Used like tools, the design should be neutral and restrained. This would prevent it from being distracting

6. Is honest- Does not try to represent or stand for anything other than what it really is.

7. Long Lasting- Should avoid being fashionable for it will be easily out dated or antique.

8. Thorough- Nothing in the design should be left to chance, every part of it should be considered.

9. Environmentally friendly- Conserves resources and minimizes pollution on the environment.

10. As little design as possible- not burdened by non-essentials.

I agree with many of these principles, although I think that there are of course some exceptions to these rules.

Don Norman- 3 Ways Good Design Makes You Happy

Don Norman speaks for about 12 minutes about very important aspects of design. He starts by talking about beauty. He then expresses that he values beauty and functionality. He uses a few examples such as google and an IQ test to illustrate the fact that "Pleasant things work better".
Supported by his examples, he then states that feeling good produces new ideas and makes one more creative. He briefly mentions how humans and animals are naturally attuned to reacting positively to bright colors. He then introduces the 3 aspects of design which are the main focus of his lecture: Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective. The visceral portion is unconscious is pleased by the aesthetic portion of design. Behavioral parts of design are also unconscious and govern how people react to design. A persons reflective reaction to design is how they look over what is going on. How their superego reacts to what their senses are telling them. Overall, I believe that Don Norman is supporting very good things in design. It is people like him that are taking design in a great direction for the future.

If I could ask him any question, I would ask: "When did you develop these ideas about design and what were some key experiences that facilitated these ideas?"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Typography 2: Journal 2/7

Writer's Toolbox

Mind Map

Mind maps are visual forms to ideas. They give the designer an advantage in a sense that they diagram words in a visual manner to better understand the subject they are working on. It is a way to branch out and discover new ideas. Mind maps are not to be questioned until complete, they are meant to be done quickly and spontaneously. They can help to better organize ideas and manage complex problems. As a designer, this process can be extremely valuable when attempting to produce new ideas.

Concept Map

Different from a mind map in a sense that they focus more on the conceptual relationships and meanings. The relationships between concepts are further studied in this process, which allows the designer to make connections between subjects not previously discovered. TThe mind map uses propositional statements to give logical connections between words and how they are related.

Free Write

Free write is a stream-of-consciousness form of writing which helps the designer emit a steady flow of uninterrupted thought process. The advantage of this form of writing is that the designer is capable of uncovering thoughts he or she could not have through controlled thinking and writing. It is best to write for a relatively long period of time to ensure that many ideas get put on paper.

Word List

Word lists are more structured forms of jotting down ideas. This allows for the designer to put more thought into more powerful word choice. Although the concept of coming up with words is free-flowing, there is still more room for conscious thought than free writing. In this sense, word lists are yet another productive way to kick start the creative process of designing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Notes on Book Cover Design

This Means That

The reader is challenged to think about how they perceive the images shown in the book.

Semiotics- The theory of signs. Signs heavily rely on context.

Signs can change based on convention.

In the equation Apple = Temptation, Apple is the signifier and Temptation is the signified.

Indexical Relationships- When there is a physical or causal relationship between the signifier and the signified, the non-arbitrary relationship is indexical.

"We are 'thinking things'"

The person's perception has a great effect on the interpretation of any symbol, icon, index, or sign.

Synecdoche- The representation of something by the removal or absence of some of its parts.

Q&A on Smithsonian

The book being designed should preferably not be incredibly lame if you have the choice.

The designer can be encouraged to do a good job if the writer is doing the same.

One should avoid literal book designing. Also, one should be careful when dealing with controversial material as it could backfire or have a negative effect.

One doesn't always have to appeal to the majority as long as it is successful.

"The challenge is to subvert the genre" (In relation to the genre affecting the book design).

An idea for a book cover could be taken from anywhere.

John Gall Interview

When independent publishers join with larger corporate entities, it is much more difficult to achieve uniqueness.

Knopf Group put book cover design back on the map with designers like Chip Kidd, Barbara de Wilde, and Archie Ferguson.

Different groups within the publishing company will have different answers to the question: "What makes a good book cover?"

"A really great cover is going to convey the essence of the book in a unique and surprising way that maybe pushes the design envelope a bit."

"The mission is really to allow the book to make a great first impression"

Personas and Scenarios

"If successful information design requires a thorough understanding of a commitment to the audience, creating personas (sometimes also referred to as user profiles) is an easy and fun way to walk a mile in the shoes of your users"

"Personas are like actors"

Book Cover Examples

I understand why the designer chose to use only a few letters of each word to show the title, illustrating the idea of fastness in typing. However, it does make it slightly confusing to look at and read. From afar it would read "FSTR JMS GLCK", that doesn't really sound like anything recognizable unless you already know the title and author. Once one gets up close to read, the large caps are still competing for your eyes' attention while you try to read the actual title and author. An interesting idea nonetheless.

This cover interested me because of its blur effect. I don't know how effective it is at portraying the material inside the book though. Also, the "Stories" part is somewhat lost in the flurry of movement, but serves as somewhat of an anchor and a place to relax for the eye. An exciting way to use type, but I'm don't think it is very successful.

The handwritten title along with the painted illustration go very well together. I think the head does a nice job of leading the eye down to what should be read, or vice versa. The balance in this piece works well, and the colors make it easy to distinguish what is what. Overall this is a successful cover in my opinion.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sign, Index, and Symbol

Sign: action, event, pattern, etc., that conveys a meaning.

When you walk up to a wild tiger in the forest and it growls at you, that is a verbal sign that you should back the hell up.

A hand in this position is a sign for the letter A in sign language

Index: something used or serving to point out; a sign, token, or indication: a true index of his character.

"Meow" is a verbal index for a cat.

Smoke in your house is a visual index that something is burning.

something used for or regarded as representing something else; a material object representing something, often something immaterial; emblem, token, or sign.

"Freeze!" Yelled from behind you is a verbal symbol that someone is aiming a weapon at you.

The skull and crossbones symbol represents dastardly pirates or death.

is character.

"Meow" is a verbal index to a cat.

Smoke in your house is a visual index that something is burning.


Thunder is a sign for a storm

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Possible Book Choices

1) Island

2) Aldous Huxley- He was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley Family. He spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts.

3) Eyeless in Gaza, Ape and Essence, The Doors of Perception, The Genius and the Goddess, Antic Hay, Those Barren Leaves.

4) Will Farnaby, reporter and underground agent for an oil magnate, is shipwrecked on the island of Pala, where for 120 years an ideal society has flourished. In the mid 19th century, a Scottish doctor successfully treated the enlightened Raja of Pala and settled on the island. These two men then designed a perfect society in which (according to the book jacket's description), "sex lives are unabashed; children are carefully conditioned from infancy and none is at the mercy of one set of parents; jobs are assigned according to physique and temperament," and everyone uses "moksha medicine," a drug that sharpens and deepens powers of consciousness. Farnaby learns more and more about this seemingly perfect society as he gets caught up in its political and economical problems.

5) Thought-provoking, complex, spiritual, inspiring, contemplative, argumentative.

6) A commentary on today's world. Serves as a mirror in which modern man can see all that is rotten in his society and in himself.

7) Protagonist (Will Farnaby) comes to respect the island and it's ways, and abandons plans to promote oil development on the island.

8) Antagonist (Murugan) frowns upon the sexual freedom, drug use, and general lack of "ambition" among his countrymen. He secretly conspires with Colonel Dipa (dictator of a neighboring island) to sell-out Pala.

9) "Nobody needs to go anywhere else. We are all, if we only knew it, already there. If I only knew who in fact I am, I should cease to behave as what I think I am; and if I stopped behaving as what I think I am, I should know who I am. What in fact I am, if only the Manichee I think I am would allow me to know it, is the reconciliation of yes and no lived out in total acceptance and the blessed experience of Not-Two. In religion all words are dirty words. Anybody who gets eloquent about Buddha, or God, or Christ, ought to have his mouth washed out with carbolic soap."

"Faith is something very different from belief. Belief is the systematic taking of unanalysed words much too seriously. Paul's words, Mohammed's words, Marx's words, Hitler's words - people take them too seriously, and what happens?"

"Here and now, boys"

10) I thought this book to have a highly complex plot and meaning. The paperback cover that I have and the covers I have seen do not reflect this. I thought this to be a good opportunity to design my interpretation of such a thought-provoking book.


1) Dracula

2) Bram Stoker- was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 gothic novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business mangaer of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.

3) The Snake's Pass, The Lady of the Shroud, The Jewel of the Seven Stars, The Mystery of the Sea.

4) he novel is mainly composed of journal entries and letters written by several narrators who also serve as the novel's main protagonists. Jonathan Harker and several others battle with an undead count who wishes to take over the woman of the novel and all of London.

5) interesting, horrifying, mystifying, suspenseful, creepy.

6) There are horrible and malicious things on earth that one should be wary of.

7) Jonathan Harker (Protagonist)- His love for his wife and horrible experience in a castle lead to his hunting down and killing of Dracula.

8) Dracula (Antagonist)- Seduces and bites Harker's wife and Lucy. He also plans to turn all of London into blood thirsty vampire minions.

9) "As the Count leaned over me and his hands touched me... a horrible feeling of nausea came over me, which, do what I would, I could not conceal."

"When the Count saw my face, his eyes blazed with a sort of demonaic fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I drew away, and his hand touched the string of beads which held the crucifix. It made an instant change in him, for the fury passed so quickly that I could hardly believe that it was ever there."

"I shall cut off her head and fill her mouth with garlic, and I shall drive a stake through her body."

10) It is a classic tale of pure horror made quite a while ago. The time period the story takes place is of great interest to me and I believe I could work upon it.


1) Something Wicked This Way Comes

2) Ray Bradbury- s an American fantasy, horror, science-fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man, Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Many of Bradbury's works have been adapted into television shows or films.

3) The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, Fahrenheit 451, A Graveyard for Lunatics.

4) It is about two 13-year-old boys, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, who have a harrowing experience with a nightmarish traveling carnival that comes to their Midwestern town one October. The carnival's leader is the mysterious "Mr. Dark" who bears a tattoo for each person who, lured by the offer to live out his secret fantasies, has become bound in service to the carnival. Mr. Dark's malevolent presence is countered by that of Will's father, Charles Halloway, who harbors his own secret desire to regain his youth.

5) symbolic, mysterious, amazing, awe-inspiring, suspenseful, happy.

6) The battle between good and evil, age, death, belief, fear. Also, the idea that the power of people, objects, and ideas depends on the power you instill in them with your own mind.

7) Charles Halloway (Protagonist)- starts out in the novel as a quiet and unhappy man, not very close to his son, but eventually gains self-awareness and faith while up against the carnival, and becomes a fighter in his right by the end of the novel, along with gaining the admiration, love, and friendship of his son.

8) Mr. Dark (Antagonist)- initially holds sway over the other main characters, but his power weakens when Charles uses happy emotions against him, something he cannot comprehend or withstand. Charles' happiness crushes Mr. Dark.

9) "A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half an hour before, you spent just ten minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know is bad, or amoral, at least. You can’t act if you don’t know."

"Acting without knowing takes you right off the cliff."

"Who has more pockets than a magician?
A boy.
Whose pockets contain *more* than a magicians?
A boy's."

10) This book affected my imagination. I think that the themes and richness of this book make for great fodder for design.